This article also appears on NFLTouchdown.com.
Last seen guiding the San Diego Chargers' Shawne Merriman-less defense of 2008 to an atrocious start, Ted Cottrell's next job will be head coaching a professional football team.
Cottrell will take the reins of the UFL's (United Football League) New York franchise, which is slated to begin playing in October of this year.
The start-up league will field only four teams for its inaugural season, and has already signed three former NFL coaches for jobs in Dennis Green, Jim Haslett, and Jim Fassel.
In parts of two seasons with the Chargers, Cottrell's defenses were polar opposites from one year to the next: In 2007, San Diego led the league in takeaways with 48, interceptions with 30, and opposing passer rating with 70. The following season, however, opposing offenses regularly torched San Diego's pass defense and pressure play was diminished greatly with the loss of Merriman.
After being fired on Oct. 28, 2008 in favor of Ron Rivera, members of the press questioned the decision as being nothing more than a move to blame Cottrell for the Chargers' mediocre 3-5 start.
However, under Rivera the defense stabilized and finished the season 5-3 with the new regime, in part, helping San Diego to reach their third consecutive postseason, which culminated in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round.
Cottrell becomes the UFL's only head coach of its inaugural class with no prior head coaching experience, but has well over 20 years of experience being a defensive coordinator in the league.
How long will the gig last? If history serves as any indication regarding the NFL's competitors, the answer could very well be not long.
However, there has been some speculation that given the NFL's lack of a developmental league (NFL Europa folded in 2007) and the UFL's obvious inability to attract stars given the low pay, that the latter could become a minor league of sorts for the NFL.
Games will be broadcast on the cable network Versus.
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